Saturday, September 23, 2006

Oh My, Opus!

Rarely does attentive service, delicious, creative food, reasonable prices, and a beautiful space converge as they do at Opus. J and I felt like VIPs during our recent dinner at this restaurant near the corner of Wilshire and Western, and it wasn't because we were throwing $100 bills around or have any particular claims to fame.

After reading some rave reviews of the new chef, Josef Centeno, we ordered the modest 3 course tasting menu ($30) and the accompanying wines ($15!!). What we got was a fun, fall amuse bouche, 5 substantial courses and 5 glasses of wine, many courses presented by the chef himself, and very friendly service. I have no clue how the restaurant is making any money, but it's certainly winning some loyal and adoring customers.

We began with pumpkin poppers, small squares of fried dough filled with a fall-spiced pumpkin soup. Heeding the warning of our waitress, we made sure our lips were sealed as we ate them, but neither of us could hide a smile of delight as we tasted the creamy insides.

Next up, salmon sashimi with avocado cream and salmon roe, followed by a kodai skewer and beef tartar with a tiny quail egg. The kodai, a fish also known as porgy, was battered and fried, tasted mildly sweet, working well with a white soy dipping sauce. This was followed by grilled king fish served over romaine hearts with a tomatillo sauce, then a confit of baby pig with crispy skin. Y'all know how much I love pork, so this was my favorite course, also because the tender pig came with a side of fresh garbanzos and sauteed mushrooms.

At this point, we were whispering across the table to each other, "We only ordered 3 courses, right?? Should we say something? Did they mishear us??" When the waitress came by with new silverware for us, I said, "More??" and she replied that the chef always turns the three course into 5 or 6, and we had to have dessert, didn't we? Well, who were we to complain? Dessert was a tapioca brulee with tart cherries. Not something I would ever pick off a menu on my own as I'm anti-tapioca, but that's what tasting menus are good for--getting you out of your comfort zone and discovering new tastes. And guess what? Tapioca ain't that bad, especially when covered in cherries.

So, get on over to Opus ASAP for a fantastic evening. Even the valet parking's a deal (comparatively) at only $3.00.

3760 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

PS--We had some fab wines as well, but I didn't write them down and can't remember the names. The New Zealand Sauvingon Blanc served with the kodai and tartar was especially delightful, full of melon and grass.

Picture from Opus Restaurant website.


russkar said...

We tried to do the 31 course the other night but fell short with only 25, just too full to go on. It is an amazing deal.
Are you planning to come to the Scarf*Yahoo* Opus Dinner on Oct 18th? 6 courses=probably 9.

Erin S. said...

Haven't heard of the tell!

Anonymous said...

The sauvignon blanc was Giesen.